Authors: Zahra Zarabi and Vikram Bhatt
Abstract:Since 1990’s, Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) has emerged as a promising and influential spatial planning concept throughout North America. It helps ensure a more sustainable development by integrating land use and transport systems. Urban planners and transportation scholars have raised its profile in practice; but arguably, the origins of this concept date back much further. There are some noteworthy examples of large-scale real estate developments across North America, established on properties owned by transit companies, with the aim of generating revenue for the transit company and the government. One of the most successful Canadian examples of this type of development is the Town of Mount Royal located in Montreal. This suburban development, which emerged at the dawn of the twentieth century, predates, by almost a century, the contemporary concept of TOD. This paper looks at this development comprehensively and discusses the lessons learned from it. Additionally, using several recent Canadian TODs we compare old and new developments and challenges faced within their design and operation process. By comparatively evaluating the first generation of transit-oriented development, we provide some guidelines and standard of practice for the next generation of projects.
Keywords: transit oriented development; early railway suburbs; Town of Mount Royal; sustainable development